96% of Americans engage in some leisure activity or hobby every day. This is an important part of relaxation, but it becomes even more important to those in recovery. People in recovery tend to find that they have more time on their hands than they did prior to their treatment, and it’s important to find fulfilling ways to occupy this time in order to avoid relapse. If you already have an interest, or can pick up an activity you’ve done in the past, this is relatively easy. But if you’re struggling financially, or are unsure where to start, finding a new hobby can be daunting. One possible solution can be found in your own home, and lies in turning old objects into new delights. Here are three upcycling projects to get you started.

Find new life in old clothes

Upcycled clothing is on the rise, as people fight to live more sustainably. With minimal sewing skills, you can make dramatic changes to everyday wardrobe items to create a whole new look. Consider festival fashion: the aim is to deliver the wow factor in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd. This style lends itself perfectly to upcycling: any existing piece of clothing you personalize is guaranteed to be unique. Try creating a choker T-shirt by cutting a V-necked opening beneath the collar of the shirt. Simply draw a template on a piece of craft paper, pin it to the shirt, and cut out the new shape. Modern T-shirt fabric means you won’t even need to add a hem!

If you have needlework skills, you can upcycle any garment by embroidering on your own designs and phrases. You could even use an inspirational message to yourself to remind you of the incredible journey you’re on. If you’re less familiar with a needle and thread, try personalizing a plain hoodie by adding a word or phrase to the front using iron-on letters. Even easier is to create your own distressed jeans. Simply cut the bottoms off a pair of old jeans and run them through the washer to get a natural fray. It’s quite easy to get the bug for upcycling clothing with very little effort.

Take pots and pans out of the kitchen

If you have excess cookware cluttering up your kitchen, try some easy DIY projects to give them a new life. Attach pan lids to a plank of wood and secure to your kitchen wall to create one-of-a-kind apron and tea towel hooks. Planters for herbs and flowers can be created by drilling holes in the bottoms of old cooking pots. If you have an old frying pan knocking around, consider removing the handle and using it as a drip tray.

Using pots and pans as they come will add quirky, rustic chic to your home, but if you want to be even more creative, try painting aluminum pans with tempera paints. Use a solid color if you’re new to painting. If you have artistic flair, paint your own designs to make them truly unique. You can consider painting old cookware to give as gifts when the holidays roll around too.

Modern art is easy with a shoe box

Even if you don’t consider yourself much of an artist, you can make striking pieces for your home just by using old shoe box lids. Use them as ‘canvasses’ for collage, or simply wrap them in wrapping paper. A collection of five or six, with an inch of space between them, looks surprisingly impressive on a large wall. You can also create impressive wall art with very little artistic skill by saving up old toilet roll centers. Simply cut them into cylindrical strips, squash them a little, and arrange them in patterns on the wall. You’d be surprised what you can create with nothing but toilet rolls.

If you’re looking for a fulfilling way to fill your free time to aid you on the road to recovery, upcycling could be just the starting point you’re looking for. Start looking around your home with the view to giving old objects a new lease of life. This innovative and resourceful perspective will surely get your creative juices flowing!


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